15th march

Wed 15 Mar 2006 21:18
Sorry but we are still moaning. The wind and the wave pattern is about at
right angles to what we would like and that makes progress really slow,
pushing against the elements. We hope that soon things will change cos with
our food losses we dont want to be out of food if we continue to make slow
progress. Stopping a ship to ask for food would also be difficult as we
havent seen one for hundreds of miles.
Hope the photos are OK. The dolphin is not on our chart to ID it. I know its
not the best but can anyone tell us what type it is.
Thinking about half way is both fun and depressing. We really`want a quicker
second half so we dont run out of food.

Mick here, on rthe subject of catching fish we had this verycomprehensive
description of how to catch and prepare dorado from a fellow ocean rower
Levein Brown that you might find interesting

Leven Brown.
I found on my voyage that
catching Dorado was a joy which not only seemed to pass the time but was a
very welcome addition to the diet!! Also apologies if you already know these
Method 1:- Handline (or rod and reel if you have one):- Suitable lures are
ones that look like Squid, Wriggly Eels, and Flying Fish (which you will
have noticed them feeding on around your boat - spectacular sight when in
full chase!). Troll the line 20-30 meters behind the boat and wait. If you
don't have lures you can improvise by waiting until a flying fish lands on
your boat and lash that to hook - you will not fail to catch with this
especially if you gently score the fish with a knife to put more scent in
the water. You will need sturdy hooks as they hit the lures VERY hard at
times (they can swim at up to 50Knots!). With that in mind if you are using
a handline or improvised handline you will need at least 10 meters of line
that is off the handline but inside the boat as a buffer and you can add a
simple 'brake' to the line by wrapping it around an open redundant rowlock
two or three times. This should give you enough slack to get to line before
the breaks it! (I had 80lb test wire broken twice through lack of a suitable
buffer!). Not because the fish was that heavy but because they hit the lures
so hard! If you do not have lures they can be improvised out of any wriggly
material you will have aboard - cotton, rubber, plastic food packets and the
like. If you have a black indelible pen try and mark the lure with a dark
top but leave the underbelly light - like that of a flying fish.

Method 2:- This only really works if the Dorado are within about 10 feet of
the boat but if splash (not too hard nor too fast) the water right next to
the boat with the boat hook or the end of an oar the Dorado for some reason
are attracted to the point where you will be splashed. When they come up to
inspect this you can grab their tails (use gloves if you have them) and
haul them aboard. The secret to being successful in this is not to try and
grab them too fast - they will always be quicker! But grab them as if
picking a flower but a little firmer with the grip! - You may be braver than
I but I would recommend doing this on the larger fish (5ft and above) as
they may damage your wrist when they make a run for it.

Other fish and tips:- the other edible fish I came across were squid (which
I tended to foul hook at night using trebles with strips of flying fish or
Dorado skin on each barb). When you catch you first Fish save the skin as
this can be used to create very effective lures - even when the skin is very
dry it will soon re-hydrate in the water. The worse it smells the more
effective it will be!

Once you have caught your magnificent Dorado you may not be able to eat it
all at once. If you cut the meat up into thin strips you can brine it for
15-24hours then hang the strips up on a line to dry out. Two days later you
will have fish jerky which will last for a month or two. Very nice with some
Soy sauce if you have some aboard.
Leven Brown.

Watch this space to see how we get on!